Harvard Business School

Harvard Full-Time MBA Program Structure

Harvard Business School’s MBA program lasts two years, with students using the summer break between the first and second year to complete an internship.

Curriculum

At the start of the Harvard MBA program, incoming students are divided into sections of around 90 students who take all of their first-year courses together. These sections are designed to include a diverse range of backgrounds, professional experiences and interests and are seen as a highlight of an HBS student’s MBA experience.

HBS mandates that all students complete the first-year required curriculum, which is comprised of a total of 11 courses spread across two semesters and the January Term and a year-long course called the Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development (FIELD). The program begins with five required courses: Finance; Financial Reporting and Control; Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Marketing and Technology; and Operations Management. In the spring semester of the first year, students take Business, Government, and the International Economy; Strategy; The Entrepreneurial Manager; Leadership and Corporate Accountability; and another finance course.

Throughout their first year, students also complete their FIELD course. In the fall, students break into smaller teams to evaluate their leadership styles. During the January Term, students travel abroad to an emerging market to develop a product or service for a global partner. The year concludes with students designing and launching microbusinesses.

During the second year, students must complete 30 credits worth of electives, selecting from over 120 options across 10 academic areas: Accounting and Management; Business, Government & the International Economy; Entrepreneurial Management; Finance; General Management; Marketing; Negotiation, Organizations & Markets; Organizational Behavior; Strategy; and Technology & Operations Management. Electives are worth either three or 1.5 credits, with three-credit courses lasting the full semester and 1.5-credit courses lasting a single quarter. Options include 17 FIELD courses, where students design an independent project related to a specific area of interest, and seven immersion experience courses, where students travel abroad during the January Term to work with an organization on a specific business problem.

Class Profile

Harvard Business School enrolled 934 students in its Class of 2018. The average age of students in this class was 27 at the time of matriculation, while their median GMAT score is 730. Approximately 43% of the class is female, 35 percent is international and 25 percent of students come from U.S. ethnic minority groups. A full 79 percent of students have an education background in STEM or business, and 26 percent of the class came from professional backgrounds in consulting or financial services.

Careers

Harvard Business School’s MBA Career & Professional Development (MBA CPD) focuses on providing students with a variety of resources to encourage their professional, leadership and career growth. These include one-on-one coaching with a trained career coach as well as career development workshops, which help students find their preferred career path and navigate the recruitment and job search process. First-year students may also join the Career teams, small teams of first-year students led by second-year students, which explores different career trajectories. The MBA CPD also organizes recruiting events such as on-campus company presentations, networking events and interview days.

Nearly 94 percent of 2016 Harvard MBA graduates received a job offer within three months of graduating with 91 percent accepting their offers. The median salary of Harvard MBA graduates was $135,000 with a $25,000 median signing bonus and $32,000 in other median guaranteed compensation. Nearly 68 percent of the graduating class that accepted job offers received a signing bonus. The majority of employed graduates worked in financial services, consulting and technology.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Harvard Business School charges $72,000 a year in tuition for the Class of 2019, with slight differences in tuition for those that are married and or have children. The school estimates that room, board and other personal expenses for a single student will total $28,028 ($3,114/mo) for a nine-month period, with books, additional materials and other costs totalling $6,772 a year. With some additional healthcare fees, the total cost would be $106,800 for a single student.

HBS offers need-based fellowships to those with limited financial resources. While the school itself does not offer merit-based scholarships, they do offer fellowships (about half of students admitted are eligible for a need-based fellowship) students are invited to explore scholarship opportunities through the university or outside sources. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to rely on federal loans to finance the rest of their MBA costs. International students may apply to the Harvard University Employees Credit Union for a private educational loan that requires no U.S. cosigner.

Admissions Procedures

Applicants to the Harvard MBA should submit online a GMAT or GRE score, transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate institutions attended, one essay, two recommendation letters, a current résumé, a $250 fee, a completed application form and a signed form stating acceptance of HBS Admission Policies. Applicants who did not attend an English-speaking undergraduate institution should also submit an internet-based TOEFL/IELTS/Pearson Test score. Following an initial review of applications, selected applicants are next invited to interview on campus, in a designated city or over Skype. Interviews last 30 minutes and are conducted by a member of the MBA admissions staff and tailored to the applicant. Within 24 hours after finishing their interview, applicants must submit a reflection on their interview experience. Harvard says the reflection is meant to be like a post-meeting email to a colleague or supervisor.